Michigan could suffer most from Trump’s Mexico tariff plan

By: - June 7, 2019 12:30 pm

President Donald J. Trump addresses his remarks Sunday evening, June 2, 2019, during the Ford’s Theater Gala Performance in Washington, D.C. | Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks via Flickr Public Domain

Michigan — whose voters broke the blue wall to turn out for then-candidate Donald Trump in 2016 — could end up being the hardest-hit state in the nation by the president’s plan to impose stiff tariffs on imported goods from Mexico.

Hundreds of members of the Central American migrant caravan move in the early morning hours towards their next destination of Puebla on November 05, 2018 in Cordoba, Mexico. | Spencer Platt, Getty Images

The Trump administration has proposed tacking on a 5-percent tariff starting Monday unless Mexico can meet the president’s terms of stemming the flow of undocumented immigrants coming into the United States. The tariff would threaten $2.8 billion worth of imports to Michigan, according to a new analysis from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The tariff would become more aggressive over time. By October, it would hit 25 percent, putting $14 billion worth of imported goods to Michigan at risk, the chamber said.

Although Michigan is second in the nation in terms of the overall value of imported Mexican goods — behind only Texas — the Mitten State would endure the most severe economic effects.

Goods from Mexico make up the largest share of any state’s overall gross domestic product (GDP) because its auto manufacturers depend on a supply chain between the United States and Mexico, the New York Times reported.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce said that Michigan imported $56 billion worth of goods from Mexico in 2018 alone. That’s second only to Texas, which imported $107 billion worth of goods that same year. California is third at $44 billion.

“Imposing tariffs on goods from Mexico is exactly the wrong move. These tariffs will be paid by American families and businesses without doing a thing to solve the very real problems at the border,” said Neil Bradley, executive vice president and chief policy officer of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

“Instead, Congress and the president need to work together to address the serious problems at the border,” he continued.

The initial 5-percent tariff is set to go into effect Monday without a deal between Trump and Mexico, the Times reported.

As of Wednesday, Trump said no such deal has been reached.

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Michael Gerstein
Michael Gerstein

Michael Gerstein is a former Advance reporter covering the Governor's office, criminal justice and the environment.